Revelation: Chapter 13
Chapter 13 continues with the conflict that will take place between the dragon and the church of God. But in chapter 13, he changes the symbolism from dragon to beast. In chapter 12 it was a pagan institution that fought against God’s church, as represented by the devil. In chapter 13 the devil disguises himself in the form of a "Christian" institution to persecute the church of God. He is good at disguises.
The beast comes out of the sea. As we learned, the sea represents peoples and nations. As in Daniel, chapter seven, the little horn came up among the nations, so the beast, the same entity as the little horn, comes up among the nations. It "resembled a Leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion." If you noticed, these symbols are in exact reverse order of Daniel 7:4-6. That is because Daniel is looking forward, and John is looking backwards.
The bear symbolized the Medo-Persian government. They had a system based on a law that once proclaimed, could not be changed. "Now, O king, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered – in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed." Daniel 6:8. The Catholic Church also has a doctrine of "infallibility" and is never wrong and all its decrees are binding forever.
The mouth of the lion is symbolic of the pride and boastful words of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. In the Apocrypha, it is written that Nebuchadnezzar claimed to be a god and had all conquered nations worship him as a god. The Catholic Church also claims that the pope is god on earth. Look at how the world bows down to him when he comes calling. No one and no church is to take our worship but God alone. And yet, look how we worship and bow down to our churches.
"The dragon gave the beast
his power and his throne and great authority." Verse two. When Constantine could no longer hold Rome against the invading Germanic tribes of the north, he handed the government of the city of Rome over to the bishop of Rome. He presented the bishop of Rome with the key to the city and his throne, then left for Istanbul, Turkey. As we read earlier, the bishop now had control of the church and the civil governments of Western Rome. It is my understanding that a mural of this historical event hangs in the Vatican.
Verse 3, "One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed." As stated in our discussion of Daniel 7, the Catholic Church ruled the world from 538 AD to 1798 AD, 1260 years. In 1798 the pope was taken captive and died in captivity.
But the prophecy said that the fatal wound would be healed. "The Lateran Treaty, signed on Feb. 11, 1929, by Benito MUSSOLINI for the Italian government and Cardinal Pietro GASPARRI for the papacy, settled the vexatious question of the relationship between the Holy See and Italy. The papacy accepted the loss of the PAPAL STATES, while Italy recognized the VATICAN CITY as an independent state."*
"The whole world was astonished
and followed the beast. Men worshiped the dragon (Satan) because he had given authority to the beast, (Catholic Church), and they worshiped the beast and asked, ‘Who is like the beast? Who can make war against him?’" Vs 3, 4.
Napoleon tried to make war against the church. His government is no more, but the Catholic Church is still here. Hitler tried to make war against the church. His government is no more. Communism tried to make war against the Catholic Church, it lost. The devil will not let his chosen institution for the destruction of men be destroyed.
Does that mean that all people who are members of the Catholic Church are evil and of the devil? No! It means that the institution is evil and of the devil. The members are brainwashed and need to be enlightened. Also, any church or denomination that acts in concert with the Catholic Church is evil. That is why the Bible warns us of this evil institution so we will "Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins…" Revelation 18:4. God’s true people will hear His call and come out of her and all other churches and join His true people in keeping His Ten Commandments and His 7th day Sabbath holy.
Verses five through eight are a replay of Daniel and the little horn of Daniel chapter seven. But where Daniel chapter seven ended in 1798, Revelation picks up and keeps going.
Verses 11 through 18 bring us down to our day and beyond. "Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth."
This second beast does not come out of waters or seas like the first beast. When this nation came up, it came up out of a wilderness area where there were few people, compared with Europe.
This second beast does not come up out of waters or seas like the first beast. When this nation came up, it came up out of a wilderness area where there were few people, compared with Europe. This second beast comes up as the first beast is going through its deadly wound and recovery. What nation was arising in the 1790’s? The United States of America. As the Catholic Church was persecuting the people of Europe, they needed a place to run and hide. “But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.” Revelation 12:16.
The persecuted came to a land of freedom. A land where each individual could worship in his own way. A land where there was separation of church and state. This separation is symbolized by the two horns of the lamb. At the time the U.S.A. was arising, it was the only nation in the world to have separation of Church and State. All other nations had state sponsored religions.
This power would arise peacefully. But eventually it would speak like a dragon. We are now in the "speak like a dragon" time. No power on earth can equal the might of the U.S.A. When America speaks, the world listens. Soon we will be moving into verse 12. We are also losing our freedoms. Soon, America will become a police state. You can see that coming with what is happening in the world today.
From the sixteenth century to the 20-century, there has been hostility and war between the Catholic Church and the Protestants. The Catholic Church persecuted and destroyed Protestants. Protestants wanted nothing to do with Catholics and their wicked institution. But the Bible told us that would change.
Sure enough. In the early 1990’s, a coming together began to take place between the Catholic Church and the Protestants. The Protestants have forgotten how destructive the Catholic Church is when it has power. Soon the Protestant government of the U.S.A. will exercise "all the authority of the first beast on its behalf," and will make "the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed." Vs 12.
Soon a great persecution will break out. The U.S.A. will join hands with Catholicism and will force the world to worship the doctrines of the Catholic Church. The whole world will unite under one government and one religion to enforce Sunday worship.
Under the leadership of the United Nations, the world will unite. This will happen in order to combat the destructive forces that are breaking out on the earth: global warming, famine, drought, flooding, fires, tornadoes, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, civil disorder, terrorism and threats from the sky, etc. The world will believe that if it "comes back to God" then God will bring back order and blessings. The Catholic Church will be head of all religions.
Verse 14 tells us that this world government, backed by the United States, will deceive the inhabitants of the earth and order them to set up an image in honor of the Catholic Church.
What would that image be? Well, the only symbol of the Catholic Church's god-like powers is its power to change the Sabbath from the 7th day of the week to the 1st day of the week. According to the Bible the whole world will be forced to worship on Sunday. That includes the Muslims, either voluntarily or forced.
In verse 15 we are told that if you do not worship and keep holy the 1st day of the week, Sunday, that you will be killed. Verse 16 & 17 say, "He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark…"
This mark is not a physical mark as is thought by most in the world today. It is not a computer chip or a branding. The Bible again tells us what a mark on the forehead and hand mean. "This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the Lord is to be on your lips." Exodus 13:9. "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads." Deuteronomy 11:18.
If you think and agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church, you have the mark on your forehead. If you act upon them and obey the teachings of the Catholic Church, you have the mark on your hand.
Those who love Jesus and take His Name on their minds and in their hearts and on their hands to obey Him will receive His seal. Those who love the false doctrines of the Catholic Church and take its doctrines into their minds and on their hearts and hands to obey, will receive its mark.
Look around at what is happening in the world today. The world wants order. Look at all the crime, family upheaval, world disasters, wars, conflicts and terrorism taking place. Look at what terrorism is doing. The churches of the world will unite to bring "peace and safety" to the world. They will think that they are doing it in the name of Jesus. They will think that they must force the world to accept Jesus. Have you ever heard of the "Religious Right"?
Those that do not go along with this plan will be eliminated. If you are starving because of famine, war and crime and you are told that it is because of those over there who do not surrender to the worldwide religious state power, what are you going to do?
Now, other than seeing the beast in history fulfilled by all the things that were prophesied about it, is there another confirming evidence? Yes.
"Which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666." Verses 17, 18.
Vicarius Filii Dei
is the official title of the pope. This Latin term means "Vicar of the Son God". Since it is Latin, it is Roman numerals also.
The Bible has never failed.
Look at the Ecumenical movement of the world today. "Ecumenical movement is the term used to describe the search for fuller unity that has been a notable feature of the life and work of Christian churches in the 20th century. It is a movement that embraces many organizations and individuals and cannot properly be identified with any single body. The Greek word 'oikumene', from which ecumenical is derived, originally meant 'the inhabited world'. There were ecumenical COUNCILS in the early centuries of the church; they were called ecumenical because they represented the whole church. In modern usage the term is applied to the collective effort of all Christians to manifest the unity of the church in faith and common service for the world."*
"The movement toward greater unity among Protestant churches received its primary impulse from the modern missionary movement. A world conference on Christian MISSIONS held in Edinburgh in 1910 gave the impetus to ecumenical concern and resulted in the creation of ecumenical organizations that later combined to form the WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES. The Roman Catholic Church remained aloof from these developments until the pontificate of JOHN XXIII. He created the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity and convened the Second VATICAN COUNCIL (1962-65)."*
"A more recent manifestation of ecumenism may be seen in the CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT, through which Christians of all denominations are finding, in an experience of spiritual renewal, a new and vivid sense of unity with other believers."*"
"The ecumenical movement has many expressions: the NATIONAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES in the United States; the World Council of Churches and the Vatican Secretariat for Christian Unity; and the continuing activity of non-ecclesiastical bodies like the YMCA and BIBLE SOCIETIES. Among the achievements of the ecumenical movement in the United States have been the formation of the UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST (1957), the United Methodist Church (1968), and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1987)."*
In October 2000, 1000 religious leaders from around the world gathered at the UN and signed a peace pact to respect all religions of the world. To bring peace to the world of religion. In October 2000 they signed. September 2001 Muslim terrorists hit the World Trade Center.
The Bible warns us plainly, "While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape." 1 Thessalonians 5:3. October 2000 they signed. September 2001 Muslim terrorist hit the World Trade Center. "Destruction will come on them suddenly". Do not be fooled by all this talk of a thousand-year reign on earth here by Jesus Christ. It won’t happen. That is a deception of the devil. The devil will come and impersonate Christ and claim to be Christ coming to unite the entire world in peace.
When Jesus comes, He never touches this earth, but will take up His children into heaven and we will spend that thousand years in heaven, while this earth will be destroyed at the coming of Christ. Only after the thousand years will the wicked be raised, and the New Jerusalem will come down to the earth. The wicked will be destroyed and the world will be destroyed with them. Then Christ will recreate a new heaven and a new earth. Revelation 20:7-15; 21:1,4.
Remember what you have learned. If they do not speak the teachings of Jesus: be perfect, stop sinning, and keep the Ten Commandments to have eternal life, then come out from them and be a part of Christ’s movement. They do not belong to Jesus. Have nothing to do with them. Your only "peace and safety" will be in obedience to Jesus and His teachings.